File Photo: Parents wearing protective face mask hug their children upon their arrival, at Cairo International Airport (CAI) as Egypt ramps up its efforts to slow the spread the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cairo, Egypt March 19, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
EgyptAir is operating on Wednesday three special flights to repatriate nationals from the UAE as the country pushes ahead with efforts to bring stranded Egyptians home amid the coronavirus crisis.
The flagship airline will operate three flights from Abu Dhabi to Cairo carrying 900 nationals -- 300 passengers per trip -- Haitham Saad, the manpower ministry spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said last week that authorities were hoping to repatriate all nationals stranded abroad before the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, which is set to begin on 24 May. He expected the number of repatriated nationals to exceed 16,000 by that time.
The government is requiring returnees to sign before boarding their flights a written acknowledgement that they agree to be quarantined.
Egypt began repatriating its citizens in March after it grounded all international flights as part of sweeping measures to limit the spread of the virus.
The country has continued to operate domestic trips and cargo flights.
Egypt has repatriated around 12,000 stranded Egyptians from different countries since late April, a source from the aviation ministry told Al-Ahram last week.